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Sightsavers’ advocacy work strides forward

17 May 2017 Sightsavers social inclusion spokesperson Gertrude Fefoame.

Sightsavers has received recognition from the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) for its advocacy work on disability inclusion.

Sightsavers social inclusion spokesperson Gertrude Fefoame has been chosen to represent the IDDC at the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) Conference of States Parties, taking place in June at the UN headquarters in New York.

Gertrude was elected to speak on behalf of the IDDC on the conference’s closing panel. She was chosen by a selection committee that included leaders of the disability movement’s largest agencies, including the International Disability Alliance, Disabled Peoples’ International and Latin-American network Riadis.

This year’s UNCRPD conference will focus on how people with disabilities can be fully involved with implementing the UN’s disability rights convention. It also aims to promote disability-inclusive humanitarian action and urban development.

Gertrude has worked for Sightsavers since 2006 and is based in Ghana. She has spent many years working with disabled people’s organisations in Africa, and has personal experience of living with visual impairment in a developing country.

Sightsavers project coordinator Edith Kagoya also made a big impression at the IDDC General Assembly in Oslo last week when she gave a presentation about Sightsavers’ Connecting the Dots programme. The initiative provides vocational training to young people with disabilities in Uganda so they have a chance to get a job.

Over the past four years, 324 trainees have received tuition and gained employment placements as a result of the programme. Although Uganda has extremely high youth unemployment, nearly all of the Connecting the Dots students are currently employed or self-employed.

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